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Far, Far Away - A Few More Island Universes

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A Few More Galaxies

Before the big Moon came on the scene, I was able to enjoy a couple of nights hunting out a few more galaxies.

It's curious that everyone has their own definition for home and that home can be many different things at once. It is the house we live in. It could be the planet itself, our shared clump of rock and water hurtling through space.

Perhaps for astronomers it is something even bigger, something so vast it is impossible to meaningfully comprehend. Home in this sense might be the Milky Way, our galactic home, our little puff of dust and gas amid the infinite of thousands of millions of other galactic puffs we can observe in the night sky.

NGC 2368

Spiral galaxy in the constellation of Lynx. At 125x it was fairly bright and reasonably big, but showed no significant detail. I can find very little information about the galaxy, so even its distance is as yet unknown.

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NGC 2903

Spiral galaxy in the constellation of Leo. About 30 million light years away, NGC 2903 presented itself as a bright, rather elongated galaxy with a brighter core.

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NGC 3184

Spiral galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major. This is a rather beautiful galaxy about 40 million light years year. Upon observing you can discern a round disc showing its face towards you with a brighter core. After a while, you can also begin to distinguish the arms and its spiral shape. For those with more aperture, this is certainly a galaxy to be recommended.

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NGC 3953

Spiral galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major. Just under 50 million light years away, NGC 3953 appeared an elongated, oval disc with quite a bright nucleus. Regardless of magnification or attention at the eyepiece, I could discern no other detail.

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M 109

Spiral galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major. M 109 presented itself with an elliptical shape and bright condensed core. Probably due to being anything from 85 to 100 million light years away and speeding from us at something like 4,000,000 km an hour, I was unable to discern anymore detail.

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M 104

Spiral galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. Whenever possible I always try to visit this galaxy and on most of those occassions will try to capture its beauty. At some 50 million light years away, at the heart of M 104 is a bright stellar core and whether observing at 125x or 250x, this core is clearly seen to be at the edge of a very dark lane.

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Another really absorbing selection of targets, drawings and accompanying images, I think that you have reinvented the meaning of the term Home work.

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Thank you for your kind and thoughful words, Stuart and Iain. But seriously, the pleasure is all mine. In fact, it is the kindness you guys give that makes everything worth while. Thank you :grin:

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Suberb notes and sketches Rob :smiley:

Your skies must be somewhat darker than mine and / or your observing skills better honed - I can't get the levels of detail that you capture even with my 12" dob :embarrassed:

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Amazing drawings, thank you for sharing them.

I was looking at NGC 3184 just over a week ago and thought I was imagining that I could see spiral arms after staring at it for a long time. It was a great observing session.

If you take requests please sketch NGC4666 in Virgo while the SN is visible mag 13.7, I looked at it for a long time too.

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Nice set of sketches! NGC2903 is an odd one. To me it seemed to change orientation as I moved from averted to direct vision. In averted vision it seemed a lot larger, and elongated in a slightly different direction compared to in direct vision. I think direct vision only spots the central region with the bar, and averted vision shows much more of the outlying regions. 

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Lovely presentation, I do like the AP images shown alongside your superb  sketches.

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Thank you for your thoughtful words and heads up to NGC 2903 & 4666. I will certainly look out for the latter and if I do encounter it, I will make a sketch. I will also go back to the former NGC and try to see if I can tweak a little more detail. I guess I'll have to wait a week or so, for the Moon is beaming large :grin:

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Great sketches and really enjoyable viewing on these moon-bound evenings. Thanks for the time you've taken to present them alongside the photographs - the sketches are stunning and are true eyepiece impressions.

Paul

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I just started sketching for the first time a few days,

Really makes the sky get cemented into your head, at least for a short while. Can't wait until I get better and can do stuff like what you're doing. 

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